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the rapidity and achievements of Cherokee "advancement."

In 1828 Boudinot founded the Cherokee Phoenix, so named because Boudinot envisioned Cherokee assimilation as an attempt "to rise from the ashes, like the fabled PHOENIX."35 A printing press, with type in both Cherokee and English, was established for the newspaper in Boston. The foundation of the Phoenix had less than subtle motives. The first issue stated explicitly that "we will invariably state the will of the majority of our people on the subject of the present controversy with Georgia, and the present removal policy of the United States Government." The Phoenix would serve as a forum for the voice of the Cherokee defense for the duration of the removal battle. The newspaper was invaluable for those who could not read English. The first copy explicitly stated the goals of the paper: "As the great object of the Phoenix will be the benefit of the Cherokees, the following subjects will occupy its columns.

  1. The laws and public documents of the Nation.
  2. Account of the manners and customs of the Cherokees, and their progress in Education, Religion and the arts of civilized life; with such notices of other Indian tribes as our limited means of information will allow.
  3. The principal interesting news of the day.
  4. Miscellaneous articles, calculated to promote Literature, Civilization, and Religion among the Cherokee."36

The newspaper served not only as a forum for which Cherokees could protest removal, but also as an agent for the promotion of assimilation.


The Cherokee had, in only thirty years, undergone a program of acculturation that was historically unprecedented. They were preeminent among the Five Civilized Tribes. This acculturation amounted to nothing less than an internal revolutionary restructuring of Cherokee society. Gender roles, education, language, government, religion, agriculture, and daily lifestyles were all radically transformed. While much of this reform was amalgamated with previous traditionalist institutions, it is impossible to downplay the revolutionary significance of


35. Boudinot, 90. The Cherokee Phoenix still exists today.
36. Ibid.
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